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December (1)

Robot Insects
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
November (6)October (5)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Women's Intuition
Friday, October 21, 2011

Thinking with your Fingers
Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Souls and Confections...?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
September (7)

On Souls...?
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beware the False Consensus Effect!
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your Preferences - Preliminary Results
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Popularity Survey - DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zietsch's Response to PZ, Laden and Scicurious.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Personality of Cities
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discussion #1 - Walking Speed and City Size
Sunday, September 4, 2011
August (6)

People who Doodle Learn Faster = Bullshit
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News Everyone!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Got the Time? Part II
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Got the time?
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can Randomness Predict the Future?
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The House of Psycasm
Sunday, August 7, 2011
July (7)June (6)May (8)

Part 1: Do We Have Freewill?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Open Letter: A follow-up
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This is a lie, she said.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

MSPaint is mightier than the Sword
Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Art of Indecision
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skeptical Checklist 1.1
Friday, May 13, 2011

The Skeptical Checklist 1.0
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Of Chimps, Children and Post-Grads...
Monday, May 2, 2011
April (5)March (5)February (7)January (10)

Magical Thinking: Voodoo, Prayer, Black Cats, and You
Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Art of Character Creation
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video Game Morality: Actions inside the box?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Psychobabble goes live!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Trolley Problem: Who cares?
Sunday, January 16, 2011

Podcast delay and misc. Drugs!?
Saturday, January 15, 2011

My very own Natural Disaster
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A window into your Genetics and Mate Preference?
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh sorry, I totally phased out there...
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Porn: A force of Mutual Benefits
Sunday, January 2, 2011
2010 (35)
December (7)

Statistical Pwnage
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why you should care...
Thursday, December 16, 2010

The paper of Influence
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sharing: Part I - Emotions
Sunday, December 12, 2010

No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger.
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Me Meme [Ohh, links now]
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half Full, or Half Empty? Well, That Depends on the Shape of the Glass.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
November (11)

What Your Voice Says About You
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Babushka Blog: A Meta-Blog on ResearchBlogging.
Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Announcement:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Willful Self-Deception is Bliss
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dance, Blogger, Dance!
Friday, November 19, 2010

The Science of Marriage
Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Moon and Antarctica
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Available: One Mentee. Good Condition.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Again we are limited by our puny human-ness
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogging Carnival - What is Psychopathology?: Origins
Friday, November 5, 2010

*sigh* Psi: A Rebuttal
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (12)

The Science of Mind-Reading
Thursday, October 28, 2010

How not to think yourself smart...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to Assassins' League
Sunday, October 24, 2010

TODO LATER. A story of procrastination and forgiveness.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

A man and his words.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Little kids, little minds...
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.
Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to stop the Apocalpyse
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to trick yourself creative
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Siesta - It sounds like Fiesta, but isn't.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Dread Pirate Rift
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Being Blonde. Natural or otherwise...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
September (5)
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Psycasm is the exploration of the world psychological. Every day phenomenon explained and manipulated to one's own advantage. Written by a slightly overambitious undergrad, Psycasm aims at exploring a whole range of social and cognitive processes in order to best understand how our minds, and those mechanisms that drive them, work.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011


The UQ Skeptics Present

Skepticomp 2011


What untapped market of woo would you develop to dupe the masses? Create a pseudo-tech or woo-powered product, describe it, and win! WIN! WIN! 

Skepticomp 2011 is open to anyone, anywhere.  


The Prize


A $20 iTunes voucher to the iTunes of your choice

(Or alternative prize of equivalent value)

 and meeting with Deepak Chopra (Disclaimer: not strictly true).


Entries must be submitted by Sunday, the 11th of December to 

Subject line: Skepticomp11 yourname

Submission can be in any format (but please, don't make it too exotic). A bare-bones text-based example follows. If you choose to submit and image/advertisement of your product, please ensure to include in text a clear description of what your product is (see point 1). Points 2 and 3 can be addressed however you see fit.

Maximum 1 entry per person. Please keep your entry confidential and avoid posting on the FB wall (if you have acess to it) or otherwise including it in comments, etc. 


There will be two winners - The Official Winner (as decided by the panel of UQ Skeptic judges) and a People's Choice Award. The People's Choice award will be decided by the people from a short-list generated by the official panel.



  1. Describe your woo-technology in clear, concise terms
  2. Give us the spin – make sure to include ‘how’ it works and what it ‘cures’.
  3. less than 250 words, total


An Example:

  1. Glasses that block Blue-light [here you may describe any special technical details]
  2.  … an affordable accessory that appears to reduces symptoms of ADHD. This discovery also has also been shown to improve sleep patterns among people who have difficulty falling asleep. The John Carroll researchers have created glasses designed to block blue light, therefore altering a person's circadian rhythm, which leads to improvement in ADHD symptoms and sleep disorders. 
  3. The individual puts on the glasses a couple of hours ahead of bedtime, advancing the circadian rhythm. The special glasses block the blue rays that cause a delay in the start of the flow of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Normally, melatonin flow doesn't begin until after the individual goes into darkness. Major uses of the blue-blocking glasses include: providing better sleep, avoiding postpartum depression, preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder and reducing the risk of cancer. 

[Ref:; yup, that’s a real thing].


Judging Criteria:

Originality and Woo Innovation                                x/10                      

How novel the idea is and whether this is an advance for pseudo-science everywhere. Is this     the new shark cartilage? Is this like Steve Novella’s ‘Evaporative Therapy’

Suckerability                                                      x/10

Does the idea seem like it has traction? Will people fall for it?


Scientism*                                                          x/10

Is your tech dressed up in sciencey sounding language and has the shiny veneer of respectability?


Mysticism*                                                         x/10

Not all woo is sciencey. Some is mystical. Does your tech tap untold powers of the earth’s natural resonance? Is this forgotten technology once available only to the ANCIENT MAYA but available to you, today, for only $14.95?


The Cure                                                              x/10

Will people think they’ve been cured? For instance, people aren’t going to be able to convince themselves that they have grown 6cms overnight, but they’re probably willing to believe that their knives are sharper, their memory is better, they’re more attractive to the opposite sex AND that it cures cancer. EVERYTHING cures cancer.


*The Sciencism and Mysticism categories are likely exclusive, but not necessarily so. Skepticomp 2011 is open to all kinds of Woo. Why should we discriminate?



The Judges (the members elect of the UQ Skeptics) will be blind to the identity of each entrant. Depending on how many entries there are all entries will be evaluated by each judge. A mean score will be calculated and the winner appropriately declared. Currently, judges may enter the competition, but will not mark their own entry, and will not be permitted to discuss any entries with other judges. The People's Choice award will be voted on by the public and will be drawn from a short-list generated by the panel. 

 All entries will be googled - any overt similarity to existing products, intentional or otherwise, may render an entry void subject to the decision of the judges.

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